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College Sailing: Fall Season Update

Published on October 22nd, 2019

Chris Klevan provides this week’s update on activity in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA).

Boston University won the Coed Showcase Championship Finals hosted by Connecticut College in mostly light and uncertain conditions. Competitors waited on shore for much of the first day of competition before hitting the water for 11 total races between the two divisions on Saturday.

The breeze on Saturday started from the SSW and sailors were hiking. However, as the sun set the breeze clocked right to the SW as the day got late. The heavy current and shifty breeze on the Thames made for tough work for the race committee. The final races of Saturday were sailed on extremely skewed courses due to the extreme ebb.

Boston University, while struggling in A-Division, put on a clinic in B behind the stellar sailing of Maia Agerup ‘20 and Grace Mooradian ‘21. The Terrier tandem put up a 7,3,5,4,1,4 scoreline on Saturday in conditions where quick thinking was paramount and execution was much easier said than done.

Agerup and Mooradian continued their efforts in light and variable conditions on Sunday with a 6,2,5 scoreline in the 3 races sailed in B-Division to end the event. They won the division by 19 points over Harvard’s Henry Burnes ‘21 and Julianna Taritsa ‘20.

“We executed pretty well Saturday afternoon,” said BU Coach Chris Lash. “I think the team did a good job maintaining focus after having a long wind delay all of Saturday morning. We raced until almost 6pm and it’s difficult to stay fully dialed in going into the last set, but our team was able to.

“In our conversations we emphasized using smart decisions later in the race and boatspeed to get ahead rather than trying to win races with more aggressive starting. We also really reinforced not sailing extra distance on the racecourse by overstanding marks. I thought a lot of boats were giving up gains they made early in the upwind by overstanding towards the top.”

Agerup and Mooradian also won B-Division at the Coed Showcase Semifinals at St. Mary’s earlier this year and finished second in A-Division at the Women’s Showcase Finals.

BU’s A-Division boat, Javier De Urdanibia Panos ‘21 and Katherine Bertolini ‘21, struggled in the 5 races sailed on Saturday, only scoring one race inside the top 10. Oddly, that one race outlier was a bullet. However, things changed for the Terriers in A on Sunday as the twosome scored a 1,5,4,8 on the final day to finish the regatta and hold off Stanford.

“The group we had sailing is mentally strong,” stated Coach Lash. “They always believe they can make gains even when they are behind and they usually did.”

Stanford finished second overall with 117 points, 14 points back from BU. The success of the Cardinal came behind an impressive A-Division win by Jack Parkin ‘21, sailing with Sammy Pickell ‘22 and Taylor Kirkpatrick ‘20. Parkin, Pickell, and Kirkpatrick scored only top-9 finishes and were the only A-Division boat to achieve such an accomplishment.

Consistency amid ever-changing conditions in what is supposed to be the hardest fleet in college sailing rewarded Parkin and company with a 14 point division win.

Harvard finished third overall with 132 points and Georgetown was 4th with 149, tied with Dartmouth and winning the tiebreak.

“I think the quality of the event was high; it is the major event of the fall and includes all the top teams in the country,” said Lash when asked about the quality of the championship and the new fall schedule at large.

“The fall season is shorter now which I don’t think is the best. I think the weather at the end of the fall is much better than the weather in the early spring. Often the best breeze of the fall is late Oct and early Nov so I think it would be beneficial to find a way to set up better for that. In general I’d say the fall season needs to be longer and the spring a bit shorter.”

Yale won their home event, The Yale Women’s, over a Brown University team that was missing their top two boats. The win for the Bulldogs came behind a dominant win in A-Division by Christine Klingler ‘20 and Catherine Webb ‘22. Klingler and Webb defeated Stanford freshman phenoms Michelle Larhkamp and Abigail Tindall by 37 points after 12 races sailed.

Klingler and Webb won 4 races and never finished outside the top-5. No other team’s boat in the 17 team event successfully recorded a scoreline without even a top-10 finish in either division, yet Klingler and Webb made it look easy on home waters. This division win marks the 4th for Klingler who also won A at the Mrs. Hurst at Dartmouth and B-Division at the Showcase Finals at Navy and the Stru Nelson at Connecticut College.

Rookie Payton Thompson ‘23 and Carlota Hopkins Guerra ‘22 of Dartmouth won B-Division with 65 points. The Big Green team only scored one race outside the top-9 and had nine finishes inside the top-5.

Yale finished with 154 total points, Brown had 169, and Dartmouth had 174.

Background: The ICSA is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. There are seven Conferences that schedule and administer regattas within their established geographic regions, with ICSA hosting two national championships in the fall (singlehanded, match racing) and three national championships in the spring (team, women’s, coed).

2019 Fall Nationals
November 1-3 – Match Racing – Marblehead, MA
November 8-10 – Singlehanded – Santa Barbara, CA

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